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Show #31/4505. Gardening In The Fall.

Cutting Back Plants In The Fall

A prime example of a plant that's been too successful is a SWAMP SUNFLOWER OR GIANT SUNFLOWER. It runs on its roots and has made its way to the front of the border. With its height it really needs to be towards the back of this garden. Dottie shows how she controls the growth by dividing this plant, thus keeping it in its intended area, towards the back of the garden. They definitely have a surplus of this plant. First she simply snips it off to make it more manageable, then takes the spading fork, and since its a shallow rooted plant, it comes up fairly easily. There they find the culprit, the roots, that cause the new plants to form. Any 2 to 4 inch section of the roots have little adventitious buds that form new plants. They make it easy to go in, cut off the root sections, then it's very easy to give the cuttings to a neighbor, etc. who would then, in a short period of time, have a nice clump or it is a natural plant to just plug directly into the border somewhere else. For use later in the season, one could take the root sections and store them in some peat moss in cold storage. Great lesson.


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By Nancy Buley, J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co., Wholesale Tree Growers
Photographs courtesy of J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

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